Louisiana native Buddy Guy has been playing the blues for nearly six decades and has influenced some of greatest guitarist of all time, including Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
In the early 1950’s Guy began performing with bands right here in Baton Rouge, and in 1957 he moved to Chicago. It was there that he fell under the influence of Muddy Waters, widely known as the father of modern Chicago blues.
Guy was ranked 30th on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and has often been referred to as the bridge between blues and rock’n’roll.
Eric Clapton once said, “Buddy Guy is by far and without a doubt the best guitar player alive…if you see him in person, the way he plays is beyond anyone. Total freedom of spirit, I guess. He really changed the course of rock and roll blues.”
His guitar playing has always been loud, in your face, and full of emotion.
Guy has won six Grammy Awards both for his work on the guitar, and for his take on contemporary and traditional forms of blues music. In 2003 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President George W. Bush.
Buddy Guy has an astounding 72 album releases. Yes, seventy-two. His eclectic discography includes releases from 19 different record labels and is a mix between studio albums, ‘Best Of’ compilations, and live performances.
His latest album, titled Rhythm & Blues was released in 2013 under RCA Records. The release marked his 27th studio album and started at #27 on the Billboard 200 chart and #1 on the Blues Album chart.
Rhythm & Blues is an appropriately titled double-disc set and features Kid Rock, Keith Urban, Steven Tyler, Gary Clark Jr. and more. The first disc, Rhythm, is brassy, and full of soul whereas the second disc, Blues, is more reminiscent of his traditional Chicago blues style.
The credit list for the album is lengthy and the wide range of instrumentation allows for a full, thunderous sound. Renowned steel guitarist, Robert Randolph is listed as a composer, as well as many more influential musicians taking part in the album.
Guy recently turned 77 and is still travelling all over the country to perform. His visceral, rousing performances have captivated audiences for decades and his music will surely live on for many years to come.
In the words of Buddy Guy, “If you don’t think you have the blues, just keep living.”
Be sure not to miss Buddy Guy at L’auberge Casino on Saturday, March 8.